Research and Innovation
Advanced Materials Pioneers
AMPeers, short for Advanced Materials Pioneers, provides innovative solutions to a wide range of materials challenges. AMPeers provides consulting services as well as conducts research projects through a partnership with the University of Houston.
What we do
High Temperature superconductor wire
One area of expertise of AMPeers is superconducting materials. Superconductors are materials that exhibit zero resistance to the flow of electricity. As such, they can be very impactful in applications which can greatly benefit from high electric power density, high magnetic fields, power delivery in an ultra-compact volume, better power quality and high energy efficiency.
High Temperature Superconductors (HTS) are materials that exhibit zero resistance at temperatures above the boiling point of liquid nitrogen, which is abundant and inexpensive. HTS wires can carry 300 – 600 times the current carrying capacity of copper wires of the same size.
High Temperature superconductor wire can carry the same amount of current that the copper wires adjacent to it.
Applications of Superconductors
HTS have the potential to provide multiple commercial solutions to a broad spectrum of sectors of the US economy such as energy, defense, industrial applications, communications, and medicine. In the energy sector, for example, HTS devices have the potential to benefit both renewable and non-renewable energy industries, accelerate introduction of smart grid hardware applications and improve sustainability through enhanced energy efficiency, high power density, less CO2 emission, better power quality and improved resiliency and security of the power grid.
Superconductor cables can be used to efficiently transmit power over long distances from remote sources of wind, solar and nuclear power plants, as well as deliver 5 to 10 times more power to congested metropolitan areas and vastly improve production of unconventional petroleum reserves along with substantial reduction in water consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. The feasibility of offshore wind turbines, operating at 10 MW and higher, improves because of the reduction in size and weight by 50% when using HTS generators. Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) devices have the very real opportunity to enable grid-scale energy storage for effective deployment of intermittent renewable energy sources since they provide the benefits of rapid charging and discharging large amounts of power at higher efficiency and with much longer lifetimes compared to conventional grid-located batteries.
A unique feature of superconductors, namely, zero resistance below a critical current value and a rapid rise in resistance above this value can be deployed as fault current limiters, where they would interrupt power surges in millisecond response times while hardening the Nation’s electric power grid to natural disasters and terrorist attacks.
Superconductors enable achievement of ultra-high magnetic fields, even at the levels of tens of Tesla. They enable Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and are now being developed for Proton Beam Therapy. The high magnetic fields enabled by superconductors have led to Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) equipment used for identifying the chemical signatures of complex molecules and is widely employed in drug discoveries. Superconducting magnets are also widely used in High Energy Physics in Accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland.